Information management – an important skill for medical research

BioMediTech, a joint institute of Tampere University of Technology and University of Tampere, is focused on multidisciplinary research of biosciences and technology, and the commercialisation of innovations.

In collaboration with the cardiology research team, the Computational Biophysics and Imaging Group (CBIG) at the Institute has developed a video analysis method for cardiac muscle cells based on stem cells. The method can be used to research the cell cycles and any deviations therein.

Upon developing the new kind of research method, it became apparent that challenges were involved regarding the management of research material and storing information.

– As an increasing amount of data and important metadata started to accumulate in our research material, we realised the need for developing a database for collecting the information, to be used alongside the analysis method, said Antti Ahola, a researcher in the CBIG team.

“Protacon helped with the management of research material”

Protacon was selected as the provider of the database required for supporting the cardiac muscle cell video analysis method, having experience in medical software development. Created through collaboration between Protacon and the research team, the CellVisus software is designed for the systematic storage of data produced through video analysis, as well as for using the data throughout all stages of the research.

The user interface of the programme was designed to be as convenient as possible, so that there would not be any issues with using it in demanding laboratory conditions.

– The collection, storage and management of detailed information is essential for a successful analysis. If the research material cannot be reliably managed, doing scientific research is complicated and interpreting the results is difficult, researcher Antti Ahola explained the significance of the user interface and the database in his work.

Important foundation for development

The development of the database related to the video analysis method progressed on schedule thanks to smooth communication between the research team and Protacon. According to Ahola, members of the research team have been pleased with Protacon’s contribution.

– The database and its user interface that supports innovation is one of the important foundations we can use to continue developing the video analysis method of cardiac muscle cells. As the development progresses, we can also expand the functionality of the software, Ahola predicted.

In the future, the video analysis method could be used in pharmacological research, for example for identifying medications that cause disruptions in cardiac muscle cells. With the help of such information, resources could be concentrated on researching such substances that are harmless for cardiac muscle cells. The management of large amounts of data is essential in medical research and development.

The database and its user interface that supports innovation is one of the important foundations we can use to continue developing the video analysis method of cardiac muscle cells. As the development progresses, we can also expand the functionality of the software.

Antti Ahola, Researcher,
BioMediTech

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Further information

Juha Eloranta
juha.eloranta@protacon.com
+358 50 5413 342